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Thread: Skimmer lines suck air, main drain fine

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    Skimmer lines suck air, main drain fine

    I have a simple Jandy valve splitting the main drain from 2 joined skimmers. When I switch to 100% main drain then it pulls fin, no air in the lines, when I switch to split or 100% skimmers it will hold for a second but then it looks like the air "breaks" into the pump basket. I say breaks because you can feel the pressure pulse come through. IT will generally plug off and start to cycle out the air and then it comes back. It seems like if it goes above a certain line pressure it will suck air. Because of this I cannot vacuum or use the skimmers at all. Any suggestions or redirection are most appreciated.

    1.5" suction/return lines
    Pentair 348023 SuperFlo Energy Efficient 1HP Single Speed Pool Pump, 115V/230V
    Hyaward DE filter
    25000 gal gunnite with 2014 replaster
    2 skimmers and 2 inlets

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Skimmer lines suck air, main drain fine

    Welcome to TFP!

    Is the water level at the full mark on the skimmer faceplate? Does the weir door in the skimmer move up and down freely?
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: Skimmer lines suck air, main drain fine

    Welcome to the forum

    The water level should be at least 1/3 of the way up the skimmer to keep it from sucking air. Like JohnT said, also check the doors to make sure they are floating freely with the level of the water.
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
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    Re: Skimmer lines suck air, main drain fine

    Quote Originally Posted by kiss4afrog View Post
    Welcome to the forum

    The water level should be at least 1/3 of the way up the skimmer to keep it from sucking air. Like JohnT said, also check the doors to make sure they are floating freely with the level of the water.
    My skimmers do not have weir doors but the air in the line issue exists regardless of the water level.

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    Re: Skimmer lines suck air, main drain fine

    Can you please add your pools info into your "signature" as outlined here http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...etting-started

    Have you watched the skimmers to see if possibly there is so much suction with the main drain closed they are creating a vortex inside the skimmer and sucking in air ??
    Are your skimmers missing the doors or are they designed without them ?? Seems without doors they wouldn't be as effective at tapping debris.

    If the skimmers aren't sucking in air it sounds like you have a leak in the skimmer lines. Some info on troubleshooting http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...leak-detection
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ?° too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
    TF-100, Best test kit - TFTestkits.net
    Please help keep the lights on, become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Skimmer lines suck air, main drain fine

    Quote Originally Posted by kiss4afrog View Post
    Can you please add your pools info into your "signature" as outlined here http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...etting-started

    Have you watched the skimmers to see if possibly there is so much suction with the main drain closed they are creating a vortex inside the skimmer and sucking in air ??
    Are your skimmers missing the doors or are they designed without them ?? Seems without doors they wouldn't be as effective at tapping debris.

    If the skimmers aren't sucking in air it sounds like you have a leak in the skimmer lines. Some info on troubleshooting http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...leak-detection
    Thanks for the suggestion. I had checked for the vortex effect but the suction is not great, the actual suction line is very deep (12" below the water line), and with the catch basket in place there isn't any noticeable vortex.

    Aside from spending $350+ on someone to simply locate the leak (and not even fix it) are there any short cuts?
    1977 Plaster 25K Gal (2014 replaster)
    1HP Pentair 348023 SuperFlo Energy Efficient Single Speed Pool Pump 230V;
    Hayward 48 sqft DE filter
    1.5" suction/return lines
    2 skimmers and 2 inlets

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    Re: Skimmer lines suck air, main drain fine

    Your description is a little hard for me to follow but you must find the source of the air that is being sucked INTO you system. Without air being sucked into your system, the conditions described in your first post will not happen.

    I am sure it is something simple but I cannot get a good mental picture of where the air is getting in.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Skimmer lines suck air, main drain fine

    Have you checked all the lines and connections above ground? Even the 3-way valve that divides the skimmer & MD? Believe it or not, it could leak one way and not the other.

    It may also help if you could post a pic of the layout.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Skimmer lines suck air, main drain fine

    I have checked all above ground. As you can see form the pic below my setup is simple. There are 2 suction lines coming through the concrete, the left is the skimmer line (both skimmers are tied together somewhere underground) and the right is the main drain connected via a 3 way jandy. I can find no air leaks in this plumbing (sealed it as best I could with water and plastic wrap and duct tape). Is it possible that the jandy is bad? could it suck air on one side and not the other? IS there a way to check before replacing it? I couldn't see a way an oring would fail and still seal on side. Much appreciated.

    photo 1.jpg
    1977 Plaster 25K Gal (2014 replaster)
    1HP Pentair 348023 SuperFlo Energy Efficient Single Speed Pool Pump 230V;
    Hayward 48 sqft DE filter
    1.5" suction/return lines
    2 skimmers and 2 inlets

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Skimmer lines suck air, main drain fine

    With that setup it's most likely not the valve. Did you run water over all the fittings while it was set to skimmer only and the pump running to see if the air slowed or stopped?

    If so it may be time to call the leak detectors or start digging.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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